Comfort Flow Heating Blog:
Archive for January, 2014

Commercial Heating Repair Needs in Springfield

Monday, January 27th, 2014

If you are a business owner, you know that keeping your employees and/or customers comfortable is important for maintaining a pleasant environment, one to which customers wish to return and where employees work their best.

Commercial heating is much different from heating a home. Although some of the systems are similar, commercial heaters are larger, more intricate, have complex controls, and require special attention. When you have needs for commercial heating repair in Springfield, OR, you should call specialists.

Comfort Flow Heating has more than 50 years of helping both businesses and homes in the Wilamette Valley, and we have built up a trusted name for quality. Make us your first call for any of these repairs for your business.

Repair needs your commercial heating may need

  • Leaking boiler: If your building uses a boiler to provide it with heat, it is crucial to stop leaking as soon as possible. Not only will leaking begin to impair the boiler’s performance, but leaks will cause significant damage to building material, ruining drywall and causing ceiling tiles to collapse. Commercial boilers have extensive pipe systems, so having professionals track down all the leaks to seal them is essential. The professionals will also locate the cause of the leaking.
  • Fixing blower problems in rooftop units: The most common type of HVAC system for businesses is the packaged rooftop unit, which places the cabinet out of the sight of the public but also in a place where it can perform its job without obstructions. But this also puts the unit in a place where it can suffer damage from outside conditions—especially if it is not receiving regular maintenance a few times a year. The most common problem that commercial HVAC technicians deal with when it comes to rooftop units is damage with the fans, fan belts, and motors inside the blower units.
  • Repairing thermostats: One of the more complex aspects of commercial heating is the multiple thermostats used to control them. It’s common for problems to appear to develop in a heating system, but are actually issues with the electrical connections in the thermostats. Technicians can usually trace these problems down quickly and perform the necessary repairs or replacements.

You can’t afford to wait to call for professional commercial heating repair. Not only will your business face uncomfortable conditions, but the repairs will only become more expensive the longer you wait. Call on commercial HVAC experts as soon as you sense there’s a problem. Comfort Flow Heating is on call 24 hours a day for your needs for commercial heating repair in Springfield, OR.

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Radiant Heating Repair in Eugene

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Radiant floor heating may seem like it’s a new invention, but using hydronic power to heat floorboards and floor stones has been popular in Europe for a number of years. In fact, circulating water beneath floors to condition a room has a history going back to Ancient Rome. If you’ve ever experienced the warmth from a radiant heating system, you’ll immediately understand their popularity: the even, toasty rise of heat is one of the most comfortable ways to receive warmth. And this is only the beginning of the benefits from installing radiant heat.

One of the advantages of radiant heating systems is that they require few repairs, much the same with boilers. Troubles can still occur, however, and when you need heating repair service in Eugene for a radiant heat system—or any other heating system—turn to the trusted name of Comfort Flow Heating.

What does radiant heating repair involve?

As with any system that uses the circulation of water, the principle trouble that can afflict a radiant heater is leaking. The durability and corrosion-resistance of the piping used in radiant heating makes leaking unlikely. However, leaks can occur at joints and from the pressure of shifting floor stones or other floor damage. If you notice warping floorboards or excess moisture on the ground, it may come from a leak in the heating pipes.

Repairs for this problem may sound burdensome, but for experts with the right tools they don’t require much time and are not terribly invasive. Once the repair technicians pinpoint the leak using sound-detection equipment, they only need to drill a small hole through the floor material to seal the pipe. Once the leak is fixed, the technicians will replace the flooring.

The other repairs for radiant heating are similar to repairs for a standard boiler: fixing leaks in the tank, repairing water valves, restoring gas lines, clearing exhaust flues. If you have regular maintenance for your unit, these repair needs should rarely occur, and your radiant heating system will last for many years.

Regular preventive maintenance

Speaking of which… make sure to sign up for a maintenance program that will provide you with an annual check-up on your radiant heating system. This is the best insurance you can have against emergency repairs, breakdowns, and a shortened system lifespan. You should also rely on a repair company with 24/7 service so you can have repairs done as soon as necessary; this will help you get the most life from your system.

When you need heating repair in Eugene, OR, and you need it now, call Comfort Flow Heating—any time of the day or night. We specialize in radiant heating installation, repair, and maintenance.

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How Does a Heat Pump Work in the Winter?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Heat pumps are remarkable devices that combine the power of an air conditioner and a heater in one convenient unit. Heat pumps actually use the same action to produce cooling as to produce heat; they aren’t two separate units packaged together. This often leads to some confusion in homeowners about how exactly a heat pump operates. We’ll go into a bit more detail about how these systems work and answer a question we often hear: how can a heat pump extract heat from cold weather during the winter?

If you need help installing, repairing, or maintaining a heat pump, contact the Springfield, OR heating system specialists at Comfort Flow Heating. We offer 24-hour emergency heating repair in Springfield, OR.

Heat pump basics

A heat pump operates in the same way as an air conditioning system, except it can run the direction of the heat exchange two ways. Heat exchange is the movement of heat from one location to another. When a heat pump is in cooling mode, heat exchange carries heat from the inside of a home and removes it to the outside. Removing heat gives the feeling of cool, and the blower fans send out this conditioned air through your home. But when the heat pump changes over to heating mode, the direction switches so the heat pump removes heat from outside and brings in indoors.

“But wait,” people often ask at this point, “since the heat pump will only run in heating mode during cold weather, how is it removing heat from the outside? How can it get heat from cold air?”

The answer is that there is always some heat in cold air, unless the temperature is absolute zero (which is a hypothetical temperature anyway) and there is no molecular motion. As long as there is some molecular motion, some heat exists. The heat pump uses the process of evaporation to extract the heat that is available.

However, it does become more and more difficult for heat pumps to remove the heat the lower the thermometer drops. When the temperature goes below freezing, heat pumps will tend to start losing their heating efficiency. In general, heat pumps have lower efficiency ratings for heating than they do for cooling. For this reason, we highly recommend that you consult with heating experts before you schedule a heat pump installation. Professional installers can estimate whether a heat pump will be able to provide sufficient heat for your home, and offer other options if a heat pump is not the ideal choice.

Call us for heating advice

Comfort Flow Heating has more than half a century of experience with heating homes, so you can trust us to provide you with what you need for heating this winter. If you need heating repair in Springfield, OR—or any other heating service—contact us today.

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How Does a Thermocouple Work?

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Homeowners often express concern about having a natural gas-powered furnace installed in their house. For the most part, these concerns are unwarranted; as long as they receive regular maintenance once a year to see that all of their components are functioning properly, gas furnaces present few health hazards and should work effectively and safely for many years.

One of the ways that the manufacturers of gas furnaces keep their products safe is through a device called the thermocouple. We’ll explain what it is and how it works to keep you safe.

For help with your heating in Salem, OR, contact Comfort Flow Heating today. We will make sure you get the most from your furnace.

The thermocouple

A thermocouple is a device that consists of a pair of strips of metal made from different material. It is installed so that its ends are in the pilot light of the furnace. The thermocouple detects the heat from the pilot light, and should the pilot light go out accidentally, the thermocouple will automatically shut off the gas valve. This prevents unburned gas from flooding into the combustion chamber, where a small spark might cause an explosion.

The thermocouple performs its job through a thermoelectric effect known as the “Seebeck effect,” named after Thomas Johann Seebeck, a German-Estonian physicist who discovered the effect in 1821. Seebeck found that two separate types of metal in proximity to each other will generate electrical voltage in proportion to the heat they sense. The higher the heat around the two metal pieces, the higher the voltage.

The thermocouple in a gas furnace is designed to keep the gas valve open through its electric voltage. If the pilot light goes out, the loss in heat causes the voltage between the two pieces of metal to drop, and this shuts the valve and reduces the combustion risk.

It’s a remarkable feat for so simple and small a device. However, a thermocouple can break, rust, or fall out of place, and this can lead to a potential hazard if the pilot light fails. This is one of the reasons you need to schedule regular preventive maintenance for your gas furnace: technicians will catch failing thermocouples and replace them with the correct unit.

(Some current gas furnaces use a mercury sensor instead of a thermocouple. Your technician will know how to handle potential problems with mercury sensors as well.)

Stay safe this winter with your heating system in Salem, OR: call Comfort Flow Heating and enroll in our maintenance program. We are also ready to help you with repairs, any time of the day or night.

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